Linden Department of Parks and Recreation was presented the Agency Showcase Award for Website or Web Feature/Application at the New Jersey Recreation and Park Association (NJRPA) Annual Awards Ceremony at the Summit Family Aquatic Center in Summit, NJ. Ralph Dunhamn (Recreation Director), Angelo Monaco (Day Camp/Playground Coordinator), Branly Cadet (Playground Supervisor), Joshua Weiss were present on May 19 to accept the award.
Faced with the challenge of providing Summer programming bound by COVID-19 restrictions and social distancing protocols, the staff of Linden Recreation responded by creating a Web based Virtual Summer Camp.
Virtual Summer Camp set out to provide a variety of programming opportunities for city residents. Angelo Monaco, Summer Day Camp/Playground Coordinator approved all aspects of the website and edited the embedded Google sheet that contained the weekly schedules and links to all of the instructional YouTube videos that were specific to each activity.
Virtual Camps included live instruction from qualified staff and guest presenters, specialized content and learning resources, after camp challenges to keep campers engaged between sessions, unplugged projects that encouraged children to keep learning away from the computer screen with a variety of dates and times to choose from so that participants could fit a variety of day camp activities into a single week. Programmatic success of the 2020 program has prompted a re-boot of the Virtual Summer Camp website for the upcoming 2021 season, which will include new program offerings.
The purpose of the New Jersey Recreation and Park Association’s Awards Program is to honor and identify dedicated leaders, employees, and volunteers in the field of Parks and Recreation, and to recognize the State’s outstanding Recreation and Park agencies for excellence in programming, publicity, and facility design. The goal of the Awards Program is to focus State attention on the achievement of Park and Recreation agencies, to recognize the continuing efforts of staff and volunteers, and to acknowledge support extended by member agencies.